The UK has a long-storied tradition in excellent higher education. Since around a quarter of British universities are among the most reputed and highest ranking in the world, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland manage to attract nearly half a million international students each year.
By studying in the UK, you’ll not only achieve world-class education, you’ll also get to know more about the unique British culture and perfect your English language and skills. One of the most cosmopolitan places on earth, you’ll meet all kinds of people and have an enriching study experience!
The quality of education and academic excellency are some of the main factors that make the UK one of the most popular study destinations in the world.
Every year, international university rankings evaluate higher education institutions and create lists based on factors like international friendliness, student-focus, average income of graduates, number of published research papers, and so on.
And every year, UK universities are in the top 10, highlighting their continuous efforts and focus on providing students with the best experience and the most relevant knowledge.
Many universities, private organisations, NGOs, and governmental institutions offer scholarships and grants to international students.
Each scholarship or grant has different criteria; some are awarded for academic success, others for financial needs, and some for students coming from developing or underdeveloped nations.
Don't hesitate to apply for financial aid or contact your university for more information. You can use the money you end up saving on other passions, interests, or a personal savings account.
The Queen's English, also referred to as BBC English, is the highest standard of English one can speak.
It includes Received Pronunciation, which is a specific accent that is used by the Queen and other people who study and achieve a certain level of English mastery. It's the kind of accent that you hear in movies, which attracts people's attention thanks to its posh quality and a perfectly correct grammar.
While you don't need to speak the Queen's English to live in the UK, it is much easier to learn it while studying there. It's also a cool way to impress your friends or acquaintances and stand out when you speak in English.
The United Kingdom welcomes over 400,000 international students every year. These students come from all over the world, bringing in their unique habits, ways of life, and perspective.
This massive influx of international students contributes to the creation of an international-friendly environment, where anybody can thrive and learn more about other nations and cultures.
The UK is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland — and all of them have unique attractions for international students and tourists in general.
When you're not in classes, you can spend the time visiting the Tower of London, the British Museum, the London Eye, the Big Gen, Stonehenge, Loch Ness (famous for Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster), the Snowdonia National Park, etc.
Throughout the UK, you can enrol in universities, university colleges, or business schools.
A university college is an institution that usually does not have full or independent university status. Generally, it is part of a larger university. Most university colleges only offer around 1,000 places for students to enrol in.
British universities are also divided according to the year they have been founded, as follows:
Examples of top universities in England:
Examples of universities in Scotland:
Examples of universities in Wales and Northern Ireland:
British education offers students the freedom to explore new ideas and creativity. Students are encouraged to pursue individual research work but are also expected to take part in group activities demanding peer interaction. Teachers often engage students in classroom discussions, debates and quizzes, creating an open study environment that builds student confidence and nurtures critical and creative thinking.
Courses are skill oriented and career focused, keeping up to date with current industry demands.
Programme formats range from short courses, certificates, and diplomas, to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. British study programmes are known for great flexibility. Students may also select career centred study programmes. Intensive academic programmes are also available for students who want fewer years of study. Some graduate degree programs are less than a year long.
Here are some of the most popular study options in the UK:
The United Kingdom has over 50 student cities, so you have a very large array of study options to choose from. In the big UK cities, you can enjoy a vibrant and rich social life, where you can visit museums, attend music concerts and plenty of other artistic events, including fashion shows.
Check out some of the student cities in the UK and learn more about what it is like to study there:
When applying for a Bachelor’s degree in the UK, you can do it directly through the university platform or use application websites like UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), where you can apply to up to five courses, at the same or different universities in the UK.
If you want to apply to a Master’s or PhD degree, you can apply directly to your chosen university. For most universities, you can send your application anytime throughout the year, but some degree courses have their own deadlines. Always check the application deadline!
These kinds of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.
Try a pre-M.B.A., pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.
If you’re attending a degree programme in the UK, you will sometimes need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.
There are over 30,000 English-taught programmes in the UK, for both undergraduate and graduate level.
Universities in the United Kingdom will want to see proof that you have good English-language skills, so that you can easily succeed in their courses. All British universities accept these official English exams:
While preparing to study in the United Kingdom, an important step is determining what type of budget you'll need for your studies. This budget includes tuition fees, accommodation, travelling, and other living expenses. Let's have a closer look!
For students in the UK, the costs of living vary according to each region, with Northern Ireland being the cheapest, followed by Wales and England (except London which is the most expensive city in the UK). Scotland and London city are the most expensive in terms of living costs.
Living costs in cities in England:
Living costs in cities in Scotland:
Living costs in cities in Wales:
Living costs in cities in Northern Ireland:
Average tuition fees for Masters in the United Kingdom range from 5,000 to 17,000 GBP per year. However, for some specialised degrees, such as Medicine, Law or Business, you should expect higher tuition fees (over 20,000 GBP per year). As always, private universities are more expensive than public institutions.
If you are an EU/EEA student, 2020 is the last year when you will be charged the same tuition as UK students and when you can apply for a student loan. Learn more about tuition fees in the UK after Brexit.
Student accommodation ranges from 500 to 1,200 GBP per month, or even higher if you choose to live in a big city like London. Living outside the city centre will generally cost you around 600 GBP/month, while for the same price, you can stay with a host family, allowing you to have half of your board covered.
All foreign students have free access to healthcare services provided by NHS (National Health Service), including for surgeries. However, you may need to pay for dental and optical treatment as well as medicine prescribed by the doctor.
If you come from an EU/EEA country, you should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK to make sure you can access the NHS services for free. This might change after Brexit, so keep an eye on the latest information.
Students who plan to live and study in the UK less than 6 months will need to arrange a private medical insurance.
Eating out, particularly in restaurants from big UK cities is usually quite expensive. You can get cheaper meals in canteens and restaurants from residence halls or pubs, where you would pay between 5 and 12 GBP.
Buying food from the supermarket is always an option. On average, your food bills would amount to 145 – 260 GBP/month.
On average, you should budget a minimum of 600 GBP/month for living costs in smaller cities, and at least 1,000 GBP/month in bigger cities.
The United Kingdom is probably one of the most cosmopolitan countries in Europe, joining people from all over the world in one truly multicultural society. More than 400,000 international students visit the UK every year.
British universities and colleges provide a broad range of internationally-recognised study programmes, preparing students for future careers in major international companies. The United Kingdom is also home to some of the best research facilities in the world.
The UK has one of the most developed countries worldwide, with many important sectors that positively impact the country’s economy, such as aerospace, pharmacy, oil and gas production, services, tourism, and education.
The famous UK rainy weather is not a very pleasant feature, but at least, you won’t experience harsh winters or very hot summers either.Iconic places to visit
The UK is home to 28 cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Furthermore, several museums and art galleries constantly present world-famous exhibitions. Check out the most visited attractions in the UK!
Iconic places to visit in England:
Iconic places to visit in Scotland:
Iconic places to visit in Wales:
Iconic places to visit in Northern Ireland:
Recent international policies promote international university cooperation and student exchange between countries worldwide. High-quality study and PhD degrees are made more available to students in order to create a global educational network, achievable through student and staff mobility. Career and research oriented programmes support international student development.
University cooperation enables students study worldwide, for instance in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States and provides ways of recognizing previous degrees. Different study options offer appropriate alternatives to students, depending on their preferred mode of study.
Many study programmes in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America are English-taught. The most popular international student destinations include the following countries: Australia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, the United States, and more. However, these are not the only countries offering English-taught education. The rest of the world is full of endless study choices, from highly ranked to smaller, more specialized, universities.
If you want further education beyond the undergraduate level or if you want more personal development or a career in academia, you could obtain a PhD degree. PhD degrees are postgraduate programmes that usually follow a Master's, MPhil or MRes, but there might be additional requirements depending on the university. Students are required to do their own research in a chosen topic. With the help of a supervisor, you develop knowledge and analytical skills in a specific or multidisciplinary field and you carry out independent research. The duration of a PhD degree differs per country and institution. Sometimes your own research is accompanied by work for the department such as giving seminars or small group teaching.
PhD students are required to study on campus under close supervision, but there are universities that accept students enrolled into a part-time distance education PhD degree. Studying on campus can also be full-time as well as part-time, in which case the part-time variant is normally twice as long as the full-time study.
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